Frequently Asked Questions
How prevalent is child sexual abuse?Gathering data about the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse is challenging, and prevalence rates can vary based on location and definition of child sexual abuse. At Defend Innocence, we cite statistics that come from the ACE study, a thorough, longitudinal study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente focusing on the impact of childhood abuse and neglect. The ACE study found that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys in the United States are sexually abused before the age of 18.
What is the relationship between The Younique Foundation and Defend Innocence?Defend Innocence is a brand of The Younique Foundation. Both The Younique Foundation and Defend Innocence address child sexual abuse. The Younique Foundation focuses primarily on providing healing resources for survivors, and Defend Innocence focuses on empowering parents and caregivers to protect children from sexual abuse. All foundation financial resources are used for both brands.
What should I do if I’m having an issue with a merchandise order placed in your online store?Send an email to our Community Care team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is considered child sexual abuse?The answer to this question can vary depending on who you ask. Here at Defend Innocence, we use the following definition: Child sexual abuse involves another person (adult, sibling, peer, etc.) who forces or coerces a child or adolescent into sexual activity. This activity may include fondling genitals, masturbation, oral-genital contact, digital penetration, vaginal intercourse, and/or anal intercourse. Child sexual abuse is not restricted to simply physical contact—it may include unhealthy sexual exposure, voyeurism, and child pornography.
Responding to Sexual Abuse
How can I find a therapist for my child?If your child has been sexually abused, working with a trained clinician is often a key part of healing. Here are some things to consider when selecting a therapist: Do some research. Look for someone who specializes in childhood trauma recovery. There are also practical considerations like finding someone your insurance will cover. Research can take time, but it’s worth it in the long run. Once you’ve selected a potential therapist, schedule an initial meeting. Ideally in the first meeting, you’ll have some one-on-one time with the therapist, then you and your child will talk to the therapist together, and then the therapist will work with your child individually. Try to find a therapist who takes a comprehensive approach to healing and considers the family unit, sleep, mind, body, nutrition, exercise, etc.
Can you provide money or expertise to help me pursue legal action against a perpetrator?We believe that holding perpetrators accountable for their actions is important. We encourage you to report abuse to appropriate legal authorities and assist in giving any information you have. However, providing money and legal advice is outside the scope of our mission.
If I know or think that a child is being sexually abused, what should I do?Report the abuse—regardless of whether it is confirmed or suspected—to proper authorities. Every state in the United States has some variation of mandatory reporting laws, meaning that you are legally required to report known or suspected sexual abuse. Consult these summaries of state laws to find out what your obligations are. You can also call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1 (800) 4-A-Child for additional support and guidance.
Can my child who is under 18 attend The Haven Retreat?While we recognize the need for healing services focused on children, we do not host retreats for survivors under the age of 18. At this time, our retreats are tailored to meet the needs of adult female survivors of child sexual abuse. However, many of the resources and principles found at youniquefoundation.org may be applied to help your child heal from trauma. In addition, Defend Innocence offers resources designed to help reduce the risk that the abuse may happen again.
My child has been sexually abused. What should I do?First, we know how overwhelming it can be to find out that your child has been abused. Your response to the situation matters. Please know that there are resources out there to support you and your child. To get started, read our blogs on how to care for your child after sexual abuse and how to support children who have been sexually abused. Be sure to report the abuse to your local authorities. You can also call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1 (800) 4-A-Child for additional support.
How do I report child sexual abuse?In the United States, you should report sexual abuse to Child Protective Services (CPS). Their primary goal will be to ensure the long-term safety and well-being of the child. Find the specific agency in your state to report to here. For additional information, check out our blog on reporting child sexual abuse.